Community members honored for Positive American award


Alex O'Brien

Mayor Matthews of Kennesaw and Mayor Allegood of Acworth present a document that declares October 12th as official Positive American Day. On this day citizens are encouraged to show patriotism and uphold the ideals of a Positive American.

Members of the Kennesaw and Acworth community gathered Monday, October 12, at Northstar church to award seven local community members with the first ever Positive American award. Nominees included Donna Rowe, Mario Campisano, Missy Owens, Shay Traylor, Wendy Watkins, and NC students Kat Shambaugh and Alex O’Brien.

The Positive American award, a new movement created by community member Scott Pederson, highlights exceptional citizens who demonstrate the American spirit and inspire American’s capacity as a nation.

Pastor Mike Lynch gives an inspiring speech before the ceremony began. The ceremony honored those in public services and the United States military.

Alex O’Brien
According to Pederson, the Positive American promise includes six parts: “That each Positive American exercises the right to vote, helps other Americans in need, flies the American flag on national holidays, inspires a new generation of positive americans, thanks those who have served in the military and public safety, and recognizes that we are ‘One Nation Under God’ and ‘In God We Trust’.”

The night began with opening remarks by Senior Pastor at Northstar Mike Lynch, who led a prayer along with other local pastors.

“To celebrate something positive is such a blessing, and tonight is the official start of a movement to get our country back on track as it relates to our relationship with God, how we treat those in our military and public safety, and how we speak about our country,” Lynch spoke.

The seven Positive American honorees ranged from a triage nurse who saved a child’s life in Vietnam to a pioneer of a rehabilitation program for heroin and opiate addicts.

Georgia Representative Barry Loudermilk reflected on the honorees’ achievements and their fellow Americans in a video presentation: “Some of the greatest historical and scientific achievements in the world were done by Americans. That’s because of American exceptionalism. When we have a positive vision of where we’re going and we can express that to others, there is no limit to what we can do. America is great because America focuses upon empowering the individual. More than ever before we’ve needed a positive vision for America, and we’re starting it fantastically here.”

Positive American, Donna Rowe is honored for her work overseas in Vietnam during the war and her heroics during that time. Other nominees that night included Mario Campisano, Missy Owens, Shay Traylor, Wendy Watkins, and NC students Kat Shambaugh and Alex O’Brien.

Alex O’Brien
The ceremony itself incorporated local kids, including the Allatoona High School Navy Junior ROTC and the Lewis Elementary School chorus, who led the Pledge of Allegiance and the national anthem. They also performed a special song titled “Freedom.”

As a large part of the Positive American promise, the presentation highlighted public safety members and veterans the most, providing gratitude for their service.

Cobb County Commission Chairman Tim Lee commented, “Unfortunately where we are today is not in that positive American place where we could be. We have people here to harm us, who want to do harm to our public safety and military, and it’s important to stop and recognize what we have as Americans and thank everyone who have sacrificed themselves for our freedoms. There is not one single public safety person in Cobb County, no matter which agency they work for, that goes to work to win awards. They go because in their heart and soul they are called to be a public servant to make our community safe. All I ask in return is that occasionally we say thank you.”

Both cities, Kennesaw and Acworth, ended the ceremony by declaring October 12 as Positive American Day, asking citizens to honor all veterans and public safety members by displaying the American flag and patriotic colors.

The ceremony overall highlighted citizens who positively impacted Kennesaw and Acworth through their thoughts and actions.

Mayor Allegood summed up the purpose of the new movement in his closing remarks: “We hope that all Americans will look to this city and its Positive Americans and see this breath of new fresh air that is blowing for a new positive America.”